SONG OF THE DAY – “SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO” by The Clash

June 5, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today we are going back to the 80s for the #tbt song. 

Over the last few weeks, I have seen many photos of old high school friends with their children graduating from high school. Seeing all of these photos has really brought back many memories of my high school years and so I decided to post one of the most memorable songs from my high school days.

In 1982, I was just starting my sophomore year in high school and The Clash were getting tremendously popular in the US after their most successful US album, Combat Rock, had just been released in May. By that summer (and certainly by the time school started that fall), the album was huge. I can still picture the cover of the album sitting on the shelf near my turntable in my bedroom.

When I hear this song, it is just a flood of memories. I have been listening to the album today and it has been fun to remember that whole punk rock period. The 80s was an incredible time for music – so many genres during those years. I can vividly recall the way that kids danced to this song. First, there was normal (well 80s style) dancing and then … when the tempo increased … the “slamming ensued. I always felt like slam dancing was just a way for guys to get their aggression out, as it just looked like they were all out there beating each other up. I am certain there were girls who slam danced, but I never dared get anywhere near that pile of flailing bodies.

The Clash imploded shortly after the release of this album and their big US breakthrough, but they had already defined themselves as the “definitive British punk rockers” and became widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters.” They were idealistic and rebellious (listen to “Know Your Rights“) and not only wrote about it, but were involved in many causes as well. They were also incredibly talented and musically adventurous. It was funny to read their story and to hear that several of their first albums and songs, which were very well received in the UK, were not released by the record company in the US because they were considered “too vulgar” for the US market. The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and Rolling Stone ranked them #28 on the list of Top 100 Greatest Artists in 2004.

My favorite songs by The Clash are probably “London Calling” and “Train in Vain” (both from London Calling, 1979), but today’s song is probably the most memorable and “Rock the Casbah” (both from Combat Rock, 1982) was certainly the most successful.

Enjoy the #tbt walk down memory lane. 🙂 Anyone else have memories sparked by this song?

 
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SONG OF THE DAY – “IN A BIG COUNTRY” by Big Country

May 8, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today we are going back to the 80s for the #tbt song. I also originally posted this as my daughter’s Song of the Day on January 1, 2010.

Today is my sister in-law’s birthday – she is also a teenager of the 80s, along with me – and this song makes me think of her. She and my brother in-law have always been, and still are, big fans of 80s music and I remember that this band was among her favorites. So to celebrate her birthday today and getting older in general, I am posting a song to remind us of our younger days. It is a great song and just makes you feel alive! I have always loved how they made the guitars sound like bagpipes … just so cool!

My sister in-law and I share quite a history. We have known each other for a very long time. She went to a different high school than I did, and is a year younger than me, but the two of us dated brothers in high school. Interestingly, when we all ended up getting married years later, it just happens that we got engaged at about the same time and got married only two weeks apart! Our lives have been very different, but we do share a unique bond and I think she is a pretty amazing and strong woman. Happy Birthday!

Big Country, a Scottish rock band formed in 1981 by Stuart Adamson and his friend (and fellow guitarist) Bruce Watson.  Drummer, Mark Brzezicki, and Bass Player, Tony Butler, were then added. The band was incredibly popular in the early 1980s. In doing a little research about the band, I discovered something new to me. Adamson also founded the punk rock band, Skids, in 1977. The song “The Saints Are Coming,” which U2 and Green Day covered in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, was from the Skids 1979 debut album, Scared to Dance. Although I always knew the song was a cover, I did not realize that Stuart Adamson from the Skids, was also Stuart Adamson from Big Country. Anyway, just a little factoid that I found interesting and thought I would pass along.